In the wake of last week’s tragedy, many teams spent this past weekend off the playing fields and out of competition. Although there was no specific mandate for cancellation, many schools chose not to go ahead with their planned sporting events.
Syracuse University, scheduled to host the annual Orange Classic Cross Country Invitational, decided to call off this year’s meet on Wednesday giving Colgate’s Women’s cross country team just days to find another race to run Saturday morning. The team was eager to maintain its routine through what has been admittedly a difficult time.
By the end of the week, it was decided that the squad would run at a small Division III meet at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. The Hartwick Invitational proved to be a good choice and head coach Laura Nardelli said she was “happy with the way the women raced.”
Despite hard practices adding to the turmoil of the week, the women tied for first place with Hamilton College, and saw many fine performances. The first runner for the Raiders was senior captain Jenny McCarthy who placed third individually in a time of 20:39.
Nardelli noted that McCarthy was “fatigued from a tough training period, but ran tough while not straining.” Following closely behind McCarthy was first-year Amy DeMarco in fourth place with a time of 21:00 minutes and junior Caitlyn Donahoe in 21:19. The team managed to stay in a tight pack for the first part of the race, and though breaking apart towards the end, found victory with the help of solid races from sophomore Stephanie Davis and first-year Anna Shaver. Davis finished in seventh place with a time of 21:32, while Shaver caught a number of competitors in the final yards to clinch fourteenth place and put Colgate in a tie for first place. Senior Joyce Guerra’s seventeenth place finish came in before Hamilton’s sixth runner and broke the tie.
The team moves into a weekend away from competition, preparing for the Iona Meet of Champions in New York on September 29. McCarthy noted that the team will now be entering a new phase in the season, where it steps up its racing and looks to be more aggressive.
Considering her teammates are looking ahead, McCarthy seemed pleasantly surprised by first-year Amy DeMarco, who made her collegiate debut at the Hartwick meet, finishing second for the team. “Amy ran extremely well, she’s a hard worker and I believe that will show in upcoming meets.” She added, “With the efforts of our younger runners, we can really make a mark come November.”
Unlike Syracuse, who cancelled its meet at Boston University, the host of the men’s scheduled race chose to go ahead with its event at Franklin Park in Boston, though many notable teams were not in attendance. The number of competitors was reduced severely with UMass, Yale, Cornell and Army electing to stay home. After considerable deliberation with the team and assistant coach Matt Gerard, head coach of the men’s team Arthur McKinnon felt it was best for the team to race.
McKinnon said that the decision was based on “having an opportunity to compete and, if only for a few hours, having the chance to divert the team members’ minds to running.”
The decision proved to be an excellent one as the Raiders ran well and saw key runners log great times. Despite a slower pace attributed to the smaller field, the leaders managed to get through the first mile in 4:55, with Colgate runners among that pack.
Eleven runners ran faster than their last performance at the Harry Lang Invitational, and seven broke the formidable 27-minute barrier for the 8000-meter distance.
The team managed a fourth place finish out of six teams, topping Southern Connecticut and UVM, while the Terriers of Boston University ran to a convincing first place.
Arguably the finest Raider performance of the day was that of sophomore Louie DiNuzzo who finished in second place overall with a time of 26:56.
Though just his second outing this year, DiNuzzo’s accomplishments thus far have established him as a viable force, and one to pay attention to come the Patriot League and ECAC championships in November.
Also in the top 25 were sophomore Travis Brooks in 18th place with a time of 26:13, senior co-captain Chris Sweetland in 20th with 26:24 and sophomore Ian Hill in 25th with a 26:33. Rounding out the top seven were first-years Greg Smith in 27th place, Mike Saunders in 33rd and Robert Van Dine in 36th.
Saunders was awarded the team’s scar face award, which is given to the week’s most improved runner. Saunders ran a personal best of 26:56, in his second collegiate race.
The men’s cross country team also takes this weekend off from competition, and will join the women on September 29 in New York City, at the Iona Meet of Champions in Van Cortland Park.
For original article, see September 21, 2001 issue in the Maroon-News Archive.